Mum-of-three speaks out after terrifying spiking by injection ordeal in Leeds nightclub

A mum-of-three has spoken out after she was spiked by injection in a Leeds nightclub.

By Rebecca Marano
Friday, 10th December 2021, 4:45 am
Angela Bray, 42, was enjoying a night out with friends when she was spiked by injection. This picture was taken on the night just hours before she was drugged.
Angela Bray, 42, was enjoying a night out with friends when she was spiked by injection. This picture was taken on the night just hours before she was drugged.

Angela Bray, 42, was on a night out with friends on Saturday, November 27 when she was knocked into and drugged by a stranger.

Recounting her horrifying ordeal, Angela described how her body went completely numb and though she was able to think and hear normally, she was unable to move or speak.

Bouncers attempted to rouse her by throwing water on her and slapping her before she was removed from the club and left in the street outside.

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A mum has shared her terrifying ordeal after being spiked in a Leeds nightclub. It comes after students held a boycott of clubs until more is done to tackle the issue.

Thankfully, a friend was able to take her home but Mrs Bray was violently ill for several days following.

She has since bravely shared her story online in order to raise awareness but also encourage bouncers to receive proper training, as she feels let down by the way she was treated.

Angela, from Castleford, said: “A friend of mine had been spiked a few weeks ago so I knew it could happen to anyone but I really didn't think it would happen to me. I'm a 42 year old mum. I'm plus-size. You think in your mind it's gonna happen to these young students.

“It was towards the end of the night, when you've had enough and you're ready to go, so I'd been on the water for a few hours.

“I was totally lucid, sitting down looking after the coats while two of my friends had a dance and the other was near me but kept wandering off.

“I was talking to a few young lads at the side of me, laughing about how they were old enough to be my sons, and as I was sitting there people were shuffling past me.

“Then one man as he passed, touched my boob at the top and said: “Ow, what are you doing?”. I actually saw the person, that's the gall of it but I can’t remember him for the life of me because it was just so quick.

“When I looked down there was a little red mark but I thought no more about it, but then my friend sat down next me and we were chatting and she said I just went drip white, the colour just drained from my face.

“Then I started feeling poorly and my body just started feeling numb - it was the weirdest feeling and I felt sick.

“I could hear my friends saying ‘Angie what’s wrong?’ but I could not move my mouth.“

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'I just want some help'

Her friends then went to ask the bouncers for help.

Angela said: “They were slapping me, they threw water on my face. I could hear one bouncer in my ear going: 'You're showing yourself up, you're a grown woman, pull yourself together and move' but I just could not respond.

“I was panicking inside.

“They just dragged me outside in the cold. I remember being freezing and the bouncers saying 'it's ridiculous at her age' and I was thinking 'please, I just want some help'.

“My friend was saying to them, ‘this isn’t her, this isn’t Angie’ but there was no help, there was no understanding.”

An ambulance was called but due to the wait times, a friend decided it was best to take her home.

Angela then faced a horrible night of vomiting, diarrhoea, hallucinations and horrible dreams.

Although the physical effects subsided after several days, the emotional impact took a toll on Angela, who said she cried for days and felt ‘ashamed’.

It was a hard decision, she said, to share her story on Facebook, but she felt she had to warn others that it can happen to anyone, anywhere.

Since sharing, she has been inundated with messages from other victims.

'It's a terrible feeling'

Angela said: “I had to think long and hard about the Facebook post as it makes you feel really ashamed and silly - even though you know you couldn't have done anything to stop it.

“I was dragged out of a nightclub. I was unconscious. For me that is mortifying.

“I felt so down about the whole thing but I just thought, people need to know about this, so I put the post on Facebook and it just flew, nearly 8,000 people have shared it and so many people have privately messaged me with their stories - even a girl who was spiked at the same club on the same night.”

She added: “To have control taken away from you within seconds, it's a terrible feeling. It's not one I would want anyone to go through, and unfortunately a lot of the women and men who have messaged me haven't been as lucky.

She added: “To have control taken away from you within seconds, it's a terrible feeling. It's not one I would want anyone to go through, and unfortunately a lot of the women who have messaged me haven't been as lucky.

"I've had a lot of men message me too, it's happening to everybody. It is scary, I have daughters who go out clubbing.

“People have to realise it's a broad spectrum. There's no type, gender, size, they are targeting anyone.

“I want people to realise that because we can't stop it or it will be difficult to stop, that groups need to stay together and just have each other's backs. “

More training for bar staff

Now Angela is calling on bar staff and door men to receive more training and awareness around spiking.

She said: “I want the bouncers to have more awareness. When someone's friends are saying 'this isn't normal, she was fine five minutes ago' they should have more understanding.

“They just assumed I was drunk. Even in that state I knew they just thought I was a nuisance and wanted me out the way.

“It was awful and it adds to your shame the next day.

“We need them to be more educated to look out for these things because someone's gonna die.

"I know that's dramatic but we don't know what they are putting in our bodies, and they don't know whose body they are putting it into.”

Getting help:

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, said: “The safety of women and girls is a key priority for me and a core pledge of the Mayor of West Yorkshire.

“A host of work is ongoing to improve safety, specifically around the night time economy such as the Ask for Angela campaign in Leeds, and the launch of smart-tag to name but a few.

We know these are complex issues, requiring a partnership approach, as well as educational, societal and cultural changes, which sadly will take time.

“Fundamentally, women should be able to go out and enjoy themselves without fearing for their safety and I would urge anyone who has encountered, or believes they that may have encountered issues of sexual harassment or spiking to please report it to the police.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We are sorry to hear of the distress caused by this incident.

“Spiking is not acceptable and we strongly encourage people to report such incidents to the police.

“West Yorkshire Police have a dedicated Leeds investigation team dealing with all spiking reports received, which are reviewed on a daily basis. All reports recorded by the police are taken seriously and investigated for all reasonable lines of enquiry.

“Safer Leeds officers in the council are working closely with partners (e.g., Police, Licensing, Public Health, NHS Leeds, Leeds Universities, BACIL and Women Friendly Leeds) to address violence against women and girls in the city.

“For example, we recently launched the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign and already have c570 premises signed up.

“We also run regular partnership #NightSafeLeeds operations to engage and safeguard people in the night-time economy. In the run up to the festive period, and in collaboration with Forward Leeds, we have produced a number of animated clips as part of #StopTheSpike campaign, to further educate and raise awareness of the issues.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy a night out safely and we encourage anybody who thinks they may have been affected by these issues to report it to the police and seek medical attention if needed.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “West Yorkshire Police takes all reports of drink and needle spiking extremely seriously and is absolutely committed to fully investigating all reported offences.

“While West Yorkshire Police did not receive any calls for officers to attend at the bar in question, we do encourage anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of such an offence and has not reported it to contact us so we carry out a thorough investigation and establish the full circumstances.

“Reports can be made via 101 or online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/10livechat

“We continue to work alongside partner agencies and licensees to advise users of the night time economy about spiking and remain absolutely committed to doing everything we can alongside our partners to make the county a safer place.”

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